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Caligula And Three Other Plays

Caligula And Three Other Plays
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Albert Camus
Translated by: Stuart Gilbert
Publisher: Vintage Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 320
Pub. Date: 1962
ISBN-10: 0394702077
ISBN-13: 9780394702070
Cast Size: 2 women, 8 men

About the Play:

The collection Caligula And Three Other Plays contains three full-length dramas by Nobel Laureate Albert Camus, translated from the French by Stuart Gilbert. The life of Caligula, the half-mad, dictatorial Roman emperor, is dramatized by Albert Camus. The collection also includes The Misunderstanding; Stage Of Siege; The Just Assassins; and an introduction by Albert Camus.

Caligula focuses on the Roman emperor Caligula. Albert Camus explores the absolutism of power and the catastrophe of tyranny. Caesar summons his council, whose first thought is of taxes. Very well, says Caesar, if taxes are more important than human hearts, he may safely kill without conscience. He pursues the logic to the bitter end. In the last scene, he is murdered, an ending he knew was inevitable.

Caligula was written in 1939 and Albert Camus in response to the rise of The Third Reich and the subsequent war. It was originally intended it to be performed by the Theatre de l'équipe, a group he helped found, with him playing the lead. However, the play did not open until 1945 at the Théâtre Héberot where it ran for a year. Between 1939 and 1945 Caligula underwent many changes. The Stuart Gilbert translation of Caligula premiered in 1960 at the 54th Street Theatre on Broadway in New York City.

Cast: 2 women, 8 men

What people say:

"Has given the theatre a red hot glow." — N.Y. World Telegram & Sun

In The Misunderstanding, a man returns home to Europe to be reunited with his mother and sister following a 20-year absence. As he anxiously awaits to reveal his identity to them, notions of love and family take on chilling new meanings in the hideous circumstances of his last few hours.

In State of Siege, a symbolic character named "The Plague" arrives in town after a catastrophic event and gradually assumes authoritarian power. Camus wrote the play in 1948, when Europe lay in post-war rubble.

The Just Assassins is based on the true story of a group of Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries who assassinated the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich in 1905, and explores the moral issues associated with murder and terrorism.

About the Playwright:

Albert Camus (1913-1960) was was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. Born in Algeria, he studied philosophy at the University of Algiers, then became a journalist, as well as organizing the Theatre de l'équipe, a young avant-garde dramatic group. As a young man, he went to Paris, where he worked on the newspaper Paris Soir before returning to Algiers. His play, Caligula, was written in 1939. After the occupation of France in 1940, Camus became one of the intellectual leaders of the Resistance movement. He edited and contributed to the underground newspaper Combat, which he had helped to found. During the late 1950s, Camus renewed his active interest in the theatre, writing and directing stage adaptations of William Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun and Dostoyevsky's The Possessed. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

Stuart Gilbert (1883-1969) was an English literary scholar and a friend of James Joyce. He translated works by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Georges Simenon, Jean Cocteau, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among others.